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A. Lange & Söhne WWII Aviator FL23883
A. Lange & Söhne WWII Aviator FL23883
Rs. 550,214
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
269
UK
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Price on request
Seller
Shreve, Crump & Low
 
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Rs. 341,616
Seller
The Watch Connection
 
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Navy Seals GMT
Jaeger-LeCoultre Navy Seals GMT
Rs. 1,402,806
Seller
Chad Warrick
16
US
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 DESERT TYPE Ceramic Auto
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 DESERT TYPE Ceramic Auto
Rs. 185,058
Seller
ILT Watches
 
BE
Breitling Chronospace Military Black Steel
Breitling Chronospace Military Black Steel
Rs. 280,266
Free shipping
Seller
Icône Watches
397
ES
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
Rs. 865,528
Seller
Herbert Mayer - Vintage
78
DE
Panerai Luminor 1950 Stainless Steel Watch PAM00217
Panerai Luminor 1950 Stainless Steel Watch PAM00217
Rs. 1,453,612
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
101
US
A. Lange & Söhne Flieger Pilot WWII Zertifikat
A. Lange & Söhne Flieger Pilot WWII Zertifikat
Rs. 783,096
Free shipping
Seller
Uhren Atelier Gehm GmbH
197
DE
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare PAM00339
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare PAM00339
Rs. 820,736
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
269
UK
Breitling : Chronospace Military :  M7836622/BD39-159M : ...
Breitling : Chronospace Military : M7836622/BD39-159M : ...
Rs. 282,742
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
290
US
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW388002
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW388002
Rs. 591,480
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
Rs. 835,869
Seller
Chad Warrick
16
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Navy Seals Compressor Diving Chronogra...
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Navy Seals Compressor Diving Chronogra...
Rs. 597,626
Seller
sense-of-time
109
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
Rs. 618,234
Free shipping
Seller
Icône Watches
397
ES
Panerai Marina Militare Lefthand Pam00217
Panerai Marina Militare Lefthand Pam00217
Rs. 1,203,495
Seller
schreiter-muenchen.de
226
DE
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8-Days
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8-Days
Rs. 549,755
Free shipping
Seller
fitzroviawatches.co.uk
158
UK
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare Stainless Steel Men's...
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare Stainless Steel Men's...
Rs. 613,947
Seller
Xupes.com
184
UK
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare PAM00339
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare PAM00339
Rs. 820,736
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
269
UK
Bell & Ross : 03-92 Military Type :  BR0392-MIL-CE :  Black...
Bell & Ross : 03-92 Military Type : BR0392-MIL-CE : Black...
Rs. 179,530
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
290
US
Panerai  3 Days Marina Militare   Special Edition PAM 587
Panerai 3 Days Marina Militare Special Edition PAM 587
Rs. 567,951
Seller
Juwelier Wilfart
33
DE
Panerai PAM339
Panerai PAM339
Rs. 984,871
Seller
Chad Warrick
16
US
Panerai Watch Radiomir Manual PAM00587
Panerai Watch Radiomir Manual PAM00587
Rs. 545,629
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Tutima Military Chronograph TL
Tutima Military Chronograph TL
Rs. 181,266
Seller
maxwatches.eu
590
DE
Longines Heritage
Longines Heritage
Rs. 61,823
Seller
ORO CHAMBERI S.L
35
ES
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze Fullset  LC100
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze Fullset LC100
Rs. 411,332
Seller
TimeElements
41
DE
Panerai Radiomir 8 Giorni Brevettato Black Ceramic Men's...
Panerai Radiomir 8 Giorni Brevettato Black Ceramic Men's...
Rs. 714,819
Seller
Xupes.com
184
UK
IWC Pilot´s Watch Top Gun Miramar Keramik Black Titan Automati...
IWC Pilot´s Watch Top Gun Miramar Keramik Black Titan Automati...
Rs. 758,202
Seller
Juwelier Ralf Häffner
808
DE
Tutima Military Titan Fliegerchronograph für  Bundeswehr
TOP
Tutima Military Titan Fliegerchronograph für Bundeswehr
Rs. 150,849
Seller
Private Seller
 
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Navy Seals GMT Titan Q178T470
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Navy Seals GMT Titan Q178T470
Rs. 576,194
Seller
CWC GmbH
133
DE
Orfina Porsche Design MILITARY Chronograph 3H Ref-7177...
Orfina Porsche Design MILITARY Chronograph 3H Ref-7177...
Rs. 394,021
Seller
Bachmann & Scher
120
DE
Breitling Watch Chronospace M78366
Breitling Watch Chronospace M78366
Rs. 298,032
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon
Rs. 1,860,245
Seller
LUXE WARE (HK) LIMITED
100
HK
Bell & Ross BR 03-92-S Aviation type
Bell & Ross BR 03-92-S Aviation type
Rs. 131,890
Seller
ORO CHAMBERI S.L
35
ES
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
Rs. 782,272
Seller
TimeElements
41
DE
Tutima FX UTC Germany Chronograph GMT
Tutima FX UTC Germany Chronograph GMT
Rs. 178,076
Seller
Element iN Time NYC
181
US
Anonimo Militare Automatico
Anonimo Militare Automatico
Rs. 182,817
Seller
Pracownia Czasu
44
PL
IWC Pilot Chrono Top Gun Miramar IW389002 Box Papers UNWORN VAT
IWC Pilot Chrono Top Gun Miramar IW389002 Box Papers UNWORN VAT
Rs. 741,798
Seller
UHREN-NAGEL
21
DE
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII - Top Gun Miramar 324702
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII - Top Gun Miramar 324702
Rs. 290,374
Seller
Watch Exchange Co.
147
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar from 2014 with B + P
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar from 2014 with B + P
Rs. 548,167
Seller
Watchdeals
255
NL
Breitling Watch Chronospace M78366
Breitling Watch Chronospace M78366
Rs. 343,884
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Rs. 358,097
Seller
LUXE WARE (HK) LIMITED
100
HK
Panerai PAM 217 Marina Militare Limited Edition - One of 1000...
Panerai PAM 217 Marina Militare Limited Edition - One of 1000...
Rs. 806,522
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Club
56
UK
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar Keramik IW501902
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar Keramik IW501902
Rs. 617,410
Seller
CWC GmbH
133
DE
Bell & Ross Aviation Carbon Chronograph Matte Black PVD FInish
Bell & Ross Aviation Carbon Chronograph Matte Black PVD FInish
Rs. 363,058
Seller
Element iN Time NYC
181
US
Panerai Luminor Marina Militare
Panerai Luminor Marina Militare
Rs. 981,237
Seller
Radcliffe
120
US
Alpina Startimer Pilot Chronograph - Achtung 33,1% gespart
Alpina Startimer Pilot Chronograph - Achtung 33,1% gespart
Rs. 49,376
Seller
Miquel Schmuck & Uhren GmbH
898
DE
Breitling Chronospace M7836622/BD39
Breitling Chronospace M7836622/BD39
Rs. 308,908
Free shipping
Seller
Precision Watches
71
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
TOP
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
Rs. 448,648
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Panerai Watch Radiomir Manual PAM00339
Panerai Watch Radiomir Manual PAM00339
Rs. 710,693
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
Rs. 548,772
Seller
LUXE WARE (HK) LIMITED
100
HK
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Rs. 477,194
Seller
Badel Watch
6
BE
IWC Pilots  Military Vintage Rare Dial
IWC Pilots Military Vintage Rare Dial
Rs. 641,824
Seller
Watches Of Westminster
31
UK
Bell & Ross Aviation Titanium Chronograph
Bell & Ross Aviation Titanium Chronograph
Rs. 376,141
Seller
Element iN Time NYC
181
US
Panerai RADIOMIR Composite PAM339 Ceramic 8-Days Box Papers...
Panerai RADIOMIR Composite PAM339 Ceramic 8-Days Box Papers...
Rs. 655,328
Seller
Bachmann & Scher
120
DE
Bell & Ross Aviation  Pink Gold, Leather Black Strap 46MM Full...
Bell & Ross Aviation Pink Gold, Leather Black Strap 46MM Full...
Rs. 276,144
Free shipping
Seller
M.J.WATCHES
182
BE
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe
Rs. 708,908
Seller
KLUB
61
PT
Zenith 87.2430.4054/21.C721 Pilot Montre Aeronef Type 20 El...
Zenith 87.2430.4054/21.C721 Pilot Montre Aeronef Type 20 El...
Rs. 802,045
Seller
Dagassan Watchionary
88
CH
Breitling Watch Chronospace M78366
Breitling Watch Chronospace M78366
Rs. 343,884
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
Rs. 548,772
Seller
LUXE WARE (HK) LIMITED
100
HK
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Military Watches: Beloved Amongst Military and Civilians Alike

Whether on water, land, or in the air, military watches are useful everywhere. They're robust, functional, and relatively affordable even when new. An older military watch with a documented history, however, can reach astronomical prices.

Everything to Know About Military Watches

  • Robust and legible
  • Famous watches like the Rolex Submariner or IWC Mark 11
  • Extensive vintage selection
  • Rare and expensive collector's pieces are good investments
  • Large selection of affordable everyday watches

From a Service Watch to a Cult Watch

Military watches should, above all, be reliable and fulfill their purpose - no more, no less. Failure while the watch is in use can result in grave consequences. Military watches have no superfluous extras. Stainless steel and plastic are the main case materials used, as gold watches for regular military equipment do not fit most budgets. A military watch can't be too expensive, seeing as they're distributed en masse to the troops.

In any case, there is no clear cut definition for a military watch. This is why some watches are labeled as military watches even though they were originally meant for civilian use. Usually, they have common military watch characteristics, but have been sold on the regular market like any other watch. Thus, a soldier may indeed be a customer, but these still aren't "real" military watches.

IWC Mark 11: Serving the Royal Air Force for Over 30 Years

Watches that exist solely because the air force, marines, or army requested them are rare. Most are only introduced later as part of the brand's regular selection of watches available to everyone. One example of a watch like this is the most well-known pilot's watch, the Mark 11 from IWC. Created in 1948 to fulfill the wishes of the British Ministry of Defense, it was first the service watch for the Royal Air Force. Both IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre delivered Mark 11s to pilots. The RAF gradually phased the watch out at the beginning of the 1980s. IWC continued developing the series, staying close to the original and also changing the numbers in the name to Roman numerals. The 2016 model is called the Mark XVIII. Clear and legible dials are no longer just for military pilots and their crews; they're a standard characteristic of IWC watches.

The same applies to some legendary diving watches. Blancpain developed the Fifty Fathoms for the French combat diving unit, Les Naguers de combat. The Fifty Fathoms featured a unidirectional bezel and has been competing with the Rolex Submariner for the title of the first diving watch in the world since its premiere in 1953. Blancpain offers the Fifty Fathoms in versions that are based on the one from 1953. There are also models in gold or white gold with special features such as diamonds or a tourbillon. These special watches are similar to the military watches in name only.

Watches for Combat Divers

The Panerai Radiomir has a similar history. The Italian Marines turned to Panerai in 1938, as they needed a reliable and legible diving watch. Panerai created a watch that was named Radiomir after the luminous, radioactive material used. The Marina Militare gave the elite combat unit Gamma the Radiomir. Initially, the timepiece was shroud in secrecy. After Panerai replaced the harmful radioactive material with a harmless one, the diving watch was renamed the Luminor in 1950. The Radiomir is available today once again, but the luminous hands and indices are not radioactive.

Two additional famous diving watches from the 1950s were also used by the military: the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Seamaster 300. However, the Submariner and Seamaster weren't originally conceived for the military. The Submariner had already been in production for four years when the British Ministry of Defense began searching for a good diving watch. They chose the Rolex, but not the regular, civilian version; rather, they asked for some changes. The metal bars for the strap were integrated into the case, and the strap became a continuous textile strap (NATO strap) so the watch couldn't be lost. The larger bezel is made of silver, a relatively soft metal which doesn't suffer cracks or break on impact. Rolex used tritium as the luminous material. These models have an encircled T on the dial above the depth indicator. Rolex produced these military Submariners until the late 1970s.

The Seamaster: Originally for Pilots, Now for Marines

The British military also used the Omega Seamaster. However, unlike its name would suggest, the Air Force were the first to use the timepiece. At its start in 1948, the Seamaster wasn't a diving watch. It only became a diving watch when the Seamaster 300 model was released in 1957. The Omega Seamaster 300 was soon part of the Royal Navy's Special Boat Service gear. Today's Seamaster 300's design is reminiscent of the version from 1957.

For years, the Vostok Amphibia enjoyed cult status in the West as well. This watch is an inexpensive, mechanical Russian diving watch. Its construction and design have barely changed since its introduction in the late 1960s. In order to fulfill the demands of the Soviet Ministry of Defense, designers Michail Novikov and Vera Belov came up with a revolutionary sealing concept. The deeper one dives, the more intensely the edge of the Plexiglas pushes against the o-ring, which creates a seal protecting the front side of the watch. The stronger the water pressure is, the better the waterproofness is. The case back is positioned on a large rubber ring and a steel ring is also screwed on to the case. This results in both the case back and o-ring pressing against the case. Unlike other well-known diving watches, the case back is not screwed down. The Amphibia's rubber ring is neither horizontally compressed or stretched, which can happen when a screw-down back is tightened or loosened. Thus, the o-ring must only be changed in exceptional cases, while in regular diving watches, the piece is considered expendable.

With the Chronospace Military, Breitling introduced a watch that proclaimed to be a military watch directly in its name. It's powered by a quartz movement and has an analog as well as a digital display. The Chronospace Military features an alarm function, a timer, and a second time zone display. It's waterproof to 50 m (5 bar), which isn't particularly impressive for a 4,000-euro watch that claims to be a military watch.

Countless watches in a less expensive price range carry the title Swiss Military. These watches fall into three different categories: Swiss Military from Bubendorf, Swiss Military Hanowa from Möhlin, and Swiss Military by Chrono from Solothurn. Less expensive quartz watches play an important role in the Swiss Military market.

In any case, the less expensive and reliable quartz watches have prevailed amongst the military and are still worn by troops today. Navy SEALS use Luminox watches. Soldiers often wear a Traser or a Casio. A Submariner or Fifty Fathoms is no longer a piece of military equipment, but rather a luxury item.

Buying Advice

Are you looking for a sporty watch that also functions perfectly in adverse conditions? Military watches are not only functional, but incredibly robust and legible as well. Some military watches have even reached cult status.

The Submariner is one of the most famous watches of all time. The incredibly rare, early version of the Submariner has the reference number A/6538. Other reference numbers to keep an eye out for are 5513, 5517, and 5513/5517. However, a search for the 5513 results in not only military Subs, but civilian Submariners as well. The 5517 is especially sought after; it can be identified partly by its sword hands. The price of a military Submariner heavily depends on its condition and availability. Even a non-military Rolex watch, reference number 6538 from the 1950s, costs around 40,000. The military version is much more expensive. Over the course of 30 years, there were only 1,200 - 1,300 military Submariners produced, making prices over 100,000 possible. A few 5517s have already been sold for almost 150,000 euros. Frequently, dealers only first reveal their desired price upon request.

As a buyer, you have to decide if you're more interested in a historical or modern military watch. The price is often the same. A German pilot's chronograph with one push-piece from Hanhart from the Second World War costs around 8,000 - 9,000 euros. A new automatic Blancpain Fifty Fathoms diving watch with a traditional design also costs around that amount. For the Fifty Fathoms versions with a red gold case, you should plan to pay around 23,000 euros.

However, these price ranges are not typical. Normally, modern military watches are good everyday watches with an excellent price-performance ratio. When new, you can usually buy them for less than 1,000 euros; this especially applies to quartz-powered watches. A mechanical Vostok Amphibia costs less than 100 euros and has an in-house automatic caliber, 2146 B.

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